5 things to take off your resume right now

  • Post published:17/08/2022
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Your resumeAre you sure your resume lives up to 2023 standards? Few people know how to write a professional resume that gets attention and a recruiter to reach out.

Doesn’t it seem like fashion in writing profiles keep changing? And why not when fashion does in clothing, cars, buildings, eyewear, and you name it.

Just as you think you’ve got it; you read or hear that there are new and better ways to introduce yourself?

Amateurs look old-fashioned, out-dated, incompetent

I’ve worked in Executive Recruitment – and that’s for a living – the last 20 years. I have already seen more resume and LinkedIn profiles than most people do in a lifetime.

I see many resume and LinkedIn writers who are good with words but have no idea what recruiters are looking for.

Why? Because they are writers, authors, journalists, and other good people – but they have never worked in the recruitment industry.

Here comes 5 things you really should remove from your resume. Now please, because your resume will look attractive and get more people interested in you.

1.Career Objective

Drop the ObjectiveThere is nothing more out of fashion than starting with a Career Objective.

You will likely be a victim of age discrimination as recruiters will jump to conclusion that you have lived under a rock for the past 15 years.

Instead, and just below your name and contact details, do like this (obviously editing the words to match your profile):

C-Suite | Aviation & Aerospace | Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul | ASEAN

Aviation and aerospace industry senior executive with extensive management experience in aircraft MRO (Maintenance, Report, Overhaul) and airline technical operation in both the civil and military sectors.

2.Extreme Formatting

Your resume must be compliant with the app (the ATS) that most companies and recruitment firms are using to manage the thousands or millions of resumes and CVs that they receive.

Google receives over 3 million applications per year. Instead of an army of people to deal with this volume, Google is using the combination of an Applicant Tracking System and Artificial Intelligence to deal with the daily 10,000+ resumes.

And 99% of the Fortune 500 companies in the US are today using ATS to manage the hiring process.

When you upload your resume on a website (instead of emailing it to a person) it is almost certain there is an ATS involved.

The ATS app is using a parsing technology by extracting data in an intelligent way and populates that into fields where recruiters can search for keywords (as you do when searching on Google).

But the big problem is that the typical ATS cannot understand headers, footers, text boxes, images, photos, unusual bullets, and the list goes on. Take note, please.

3.Job Description or Achievements

SuperstarYou will quickly run out of space if you copy your job description into your resume.

Best practice for the resume is 2-pages and between 650-750 words.

We know what an HR Manager does. We know what you do in Accounting & Finance. We know the job of salespeople.

So please, drop the copy/paste of your job description. It’s totally boring and says little about you. Instead, tell us what results, achievements, and accomplishments you have in the job.

Ask yourself the question:

  • What am I proud of in this job?
  • What will my ex-colleagues remember about me when I’m no longer there?

4.Hobbies and Interests

If you hold a position as CFO and are now working on your resume. Please note this:

  • We don’t need to know that you play guitar in a rock band.
  • We don’t really want to hear that you love spending your weekends’ rock climbing in Krabi.
  • Nor does it have any relevance that you have taken a week’s course to learn cookie baking.

Hobbies and interests must be relevant to your functional responsibility.

Staying with the CFO, a relevant hobby could be blogging or writing for magazines on subjects of accounting, finance, M&A, feasibility studies. Or is the speaker at industry events or universities.

5.Reference List

Listing names and contact details of people a new employer or recruiter can contact if you are the chosen candidate is taking valuable space on your 2-page resume.

In any case, no one will start calling people on the reference list before we and our client have screened and interviewed candidates. Only at the very end of the hiring process will it be necessary to have the list of references ready.

Instead of including this on your resume, create a PDF of a single page you call Reference List. That is the PDF you then email when asked.

Buy this eBook: Your Career – Branding for Top Executives

Your Career eBookWhat if there was a way you could get hiring managers and recruiters pay attention and more importantly reach out to you?

The practical tips detailed in my new eBook: Your Career? Personal Branding for Top Executives hinges on one basic premise:

The Purpose of Resume, CV, LinkedIn – to get you an interview.


Go to our Shop page on our website, shortcut click here, and buy your own eBook now.

Use your credit card or PayPal for an easy payment, then get the link and download the eBook immediately.

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Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.